Can You Marinate Frozen Meat? Here’s an Infographic To Help You!

Marinating meat adds so much flavor and zest to it such that every bite has taste without even a side sauce or combination. So, are you planning to marinate frozen meat to enjoy its wonderful taste? However, are you wondering how can you marinate frozen meat?

Explores whether you can marinate frozen meat in this article and learn everything there is to know about marinating frozen meat.

Can you marinate frozen meat?

Yes, it’s completely safe to marinate frozen meat. Allow the frozen meat to thaw in the refrigerator. Once the outer layer is entirely thawed, you can place the meat in the marinade.

As the meat continues to thaw, the marinade is absorbed better as the flavors penetrate the meat more when it is soft. When you marinate frozen meat, make sure to keep it under 40 °F which will help it thaw and defrost gradually so it soaks up the marinade. You also have the option of putting the meat with the marinade in the freezer and taking it out a few hours earlier before cooking so that it thaws and absorbs the marinade properly. But remember, ice-cold frozen meat cannot absorb the marinade. That process only starts once the meat begins to thaw.

Brining is effective for marinating meat

Brining is a process in which you soak your meat in a saltwater solution. This makes your meat moister and tasteful as it absorbs the salt water. Brining also prevents the meat from drying up during the cooking process.

Can you put frozen meat in a brine?

Yes, you can brine frozen meat. However, you need to ensure the water is at room temperature before you place the frozen meat in the brine. It’s better to let the meat thaw in the refrigerator before placing it in the water for brining.  

As your frozen meat continues to thaw, it soaks up the brine solution. Therefore, you can use the brine solution instead of plain water as a way of defrosting the meat quickly as well as absorbing the moisture.

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How do you soften frozen meat?

The most common and easy way to soften meat for marination is by putting it in the refrigerator overnight or for a few hours, depending on how much meat you’re going to cook. ideally, it takes up to an entire day to defrost one-pound meat in a fridge. So, make sure to put the meat accordingly.  

There are several ways to defrost or soften the meat if you do not have a lot of time. For instance:

  • Submerge the meat into an airtight plastic bag with water. Change the water between short 30-minute intervals to enhance meat thawing.
  • You can place the meat under running water.
  • Nowadays, microwave ovens have a separate defrost setting. You can put the frozen meat in a microwave-friendly container and select the defrost option. Once done, check if the meat is soft according to your requirement. You can put it in the microwave for a few minutes to soften the meat further. Keep in mind that if you leave the meat in the microwave for too long, it will start to cook on the edges.
  • If you do not have a lot of time, there is also an option of cooking the frozen meat directly. It will soften as you cook.
  • If you are baking your meat, just put all the herbs, spices, and seasoning in addition to something acidic, directly onto your meat.
  • Sprinkling salt on the meat is a great way to speed up the thawing process.

You must defrost the meat properly and safely otherwise it might have bacteria that can make you sick. There are a lot of ways you can thaw your meat but leaving it out on the counter is not advised. Harmful bacteria on defrosting meat can lead to food poisoning.

How do you separate frozen meat without thawing it?

Ideally, you should store the meat in small portions. However, if you must use a small portion of the meat from a larger frozen portion, you can try mildly thawing it by running water over that specific portion and then trying to separate it with a knife, very carefully.

Do not use a knife to separate the meat directly out of the freezer as it may be dangerous. Make sure to refreeze the rest of the meat after you’ve taken out your tiny portion. However, you cannot repeatedly freeze and unfreeze your meat as it will spoil it.

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Marinating frozen meat step-by-step! (Infographic)


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Can I season frozen meat?

Expanding your thoughts on can you marinate frozen meat; you might ask can you season frozen meat?

Well, it is an effective way to cook steaks, especially when you do not have a lot of time. Suppose that you’re running short on time and have to prepare steaks quickly, what can you do? Thawing and marination take so long, so that’s out of the question.  

You can season frozen food. Simply put the frozen steaks on a pan or a grill and as they slightly caramelize or start to cook, season both the sides. This adds a lot of flavor and taste to an otherwise bland steak.

Salt and pepper can work great for seasoning your meat. You can also use other spices. These seasoning spices will not stick to a completely frozen meat. So it is advised that you put the meat on the pan so it gets slightly warmer and moist. This will make the seasoning stick to the meat more effectively.

What’s the difference between marinating and basting?

Basting means to moisten the meat. Melted butter, oil, or anything similar is brushed on the meat occasionally while it is being cooked. It moistens the meat as well as adds flavor and color to it.

While marination is a process in which the meat is completely soaked in an acidic solution of spices, vinegar, etc. to absorb the flavor inside the meat. The meat is often stabbed with a fork to allow better penetration of the marinade. It also tenderizes the meat. Thus also furthering the point that while you can marinate frozen meat, it has a better effect if it is thawed. 

Can you freeze marinade?

Yes, you can freeze marinade in your freezer. Your poultry covered in the marinade can last up to two days at most. However, it is advised to prepare marinated meat after one day.

We often forget to marinate ahead of time. A way to have a quick marinated meat at your hand is to freeze it in with the marinade. You can make the marinade sauce with all the herbs and something acidic and put your meat in it. Put this in a zip lock bag or airtight container and toss it in the freezer. Whenever you have to make a quick meal, just take it out and bake, sauté or cook as usual. This will save you a lot of time. According to some articles, the frozen marinade can last for up to a few months.

Here’s a video on how to marinate frozen meat!

Wrapping it up

Finally, we advise you to defrost or thaw your meat carefully to marinate or brine it. You can marinate or use brine to add more flavor and taste to your meat. It makes your meat moister as well but it works best when the sauce or the solution penetrates your meat. The meat will soak up more flavor if it is properly defrosted or thawed. You can save time by doing this while the meat is frozen, but it will only be effective when the solution can be absorbed in the meat.

A tip for more effective penetration of the taste and seasoning into the meat is by poking it with a fork. This will ensure that the maximum amount of marinade or the brine solution is soaked up by the meat.

We hope this article helps you and answering your question, “can you marinate frozen meat”! Comment below your thoughts regarding the article. Let us know how these tips turned out for you.

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Immad Amir
I'm Immad, a passionate home chef and the proud curator of RavvyReviews, a kitchen appliance & food blog. Through my blog, I share expert tips all aimed at inspiring fellow food enthusiasts to embark on their culinary adventures with confidence and creativity. I love interacting with you guys, do share your thoughts in the comments. Get in touch with me through

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